Archive for the 'Missouri' Category

Cass County, Raymore, Missouri Ghosts

Guy didn’t have it easy back then, but then again, who did? Life was hard even after settling, but people persevered and made do with what “little” God gave them. Back then people didn’t complain. Maybe they didn’t know any better or most likely it was just the ‘gett’er done’ attitude of the time. Guy was born a Ozarkian, from a family that had settled from out East. He made an honest living starting at an early age after moving closer to Springfield as the city had started its beginning sprawl. Guy married Lea at age 20 and shortly after they had a daughter who he always called Smiles. Lea and Smiles were Guy’s inspiration. Guy wasn’t perfect, and was known at times to go off into the deep end, at times, wrestling with the law. Yet Lea set him straight, as any good wife would do, and as Guy would say, had the perfect family.

Tragedy struck Guy in the Winter of 1863. While guy was away that night, collecting and trading supplies, The Second Battle of Springfield ensued, and during house-to-house fighting, which was fairly unusual during the Civil War, guy lost his Wife and Smiles when his house was raided and burnt down. As anyone could imagine, this set Guy into a deep depression. He took it worse than most as he never fully recovered through life as he vowed never to marry again. Horrible nightmares plagued Guy often. For the next several years, he dreamt constantly that he was searching for his Lea and Smiles. His demise affected his work, and he slowly went back to his lawless ways.

On ‘good’ days, Guy made a living with odd-and-end jobs; mainly gophering supplies for the railroad crews. At night, it was common to find Guy at the local tap. Guy was known to hang around Davis Tutt Jr. at times, especially on the poker hand nights. You’ve probably heard and know the story well, where Davis and Hickok’s quarrel made light. What started as a simple game of poker, (with Guy in attendance) ended in the famous shoot-out between Davis and Wild Bill. It was said Hickok owed Davis a game, but Wild Bill settled his score with a single shot in Davis’s heart that brought the on-set of the wild-west to Greene County, Missouri.

The duel triggered and compounded an emotional frenzy within Guy. He decided it was time to leave and start a new.

It was a balmy early Autumn afternoon in 1887. Juliann was just finishing assigning her pupils some math equations at the Raymore school where she taught, when the sound of the KCCS (Kansas City, Clinton, and Springfield Railroad) whistle blew from the engine coming up from the town of Coleman. Being that Juliann was also the Raymore depot agent, it was common for school to suspend while she worked the depot for the less than a dozen trains that would stop in a given day. Coming in late from Springfield, just shy of intended Kansas City, the train was forced to stay overnight due to a mechanical problem with the engine.

Guy stepped off the train in a daze. The mesmerizing clickety-clack from the ride let too many thoughts through his mind. Without clothes or belongings Guy looked pretty shanty. His coat was worn and wrinkled. His pants loose and baggy. And beard and hair un-groomed. Guy walked to the depot window, and Juliann took immediate notice of her formidable guest. With a rasp and crack in his voice, Guy asked the agent where he might stay for the night. Hesitantly Juliann pointed over the school towards the local hotel. Guy spent the remainder of his night dreaming as he did best; of the terror the years before, his lost Lea and Smiles not be found.

With the window cracked, the slight chill of the morning filled Guy’s room along with the smell of Autumn change, the train whistle blew signifying its starting departure from the mechanical layover of the evening before. Guy’s eyes popped open, staring at the ceiling plaster taking a moment to realize where he might be. Without a second thought, Guy lay in bed contently starring, while the clickety-clack KCCS faded in the distance. The sound of the train was replaced by the small town bustle. Children laughing, blacksmith pinging, rooster crowing, and the rustle of the Autumn leaves blowing. Moments later, the school bell rang in the not too far distant. A welcomed moment of solace had overcome Guy. He had just found his new home.

Even though Guy had a rough night, he felt semi-rested. But unfortunately that didn’t help him look any fresher. Guy stepped outside the Hotel and felt the warming sun hit his face. He walked around town a bit looking for something that might dampen his hunger. Locals politely acknowledged Guy as he strolled through the street, but he kept to him-self not to draw any more attention. As his stomach growled he remembered the school, thinking he’d have a chance at swiping a kiddo’s lunch sack. He made his way back up to the school. Quietly he cracked the back door and listened as Juliann was instructing the kids. He tiptoed his way inside and was relieved to see the cubbyholes as he entered the back room. Not much separated him and the teacher as he fumbled in the poorly lit room. The cubbyholes acted as a divider between the classroom and coat room. While fumbling in the shelves, Guy had accidentally knocked an apple to the floor. He quickly grabbed for the rolling apple, but not in enough time for Juliann to peek around the corner, and yell at Guy quite discerningly. They had made eye contact for a split second, enough time for Juliann to remember him as the stumbling grog from the night before. Guy whisked up the apple, and ran out the door. Juliann caught the door before it could slam, and yelled for the mug to stop and return. Several hundred yards later, Guy slowed to a walk. He was in the middle of a field, and could see a farmhouse just to the North. Taking a wide bow to the East of the house he gladly helped himself to a wandering rooster. He continued further North and stopped at Alexander Creek.

Later that evening, beside firelight, Guy found refuge along a small stream embankment that fed the Alexander. As he lay on the bank, watching the Milky Way shine, meteors streaked giving him ample wishes to yearn. Just as comfort set in, it quickly subsided and his regular barrage of terror went through Guy’s mind like a drug.  Throughout the following month, Guy made do by regularly venturing out, taking all that was not his. When his psyche got the best of him, Guy would wander the fields, tracks and countryside, with lantern in hand, calling out for his lost Lea and Smiles. This was quite the show for a few locals that witnessed. It brought along new tales of the ghost surrounding Raymore. The news spread like wildfire throughout the small town. Locals must have took it seriously, as candles were burned throughout the night, placed in windows with the belief it would keep the spirit away.

The impending cool weather had set on Guy’s mind, and he looked back towards town for a more formidable shelter. He was able to ease himself in, making friends with a local farmer and became his farmhand. In return for his help Guy was given some shelter on the attached tack room of the farmers barn. Guy always avoided the schoolhouse, in fear he would meet up with the teacher. But one day he was given the chore of picking up some supplies from the depot. As the train whistled its arrival, Guy was waiting along the North end, and to his surprise saw the depot agent emerge. Guy kept as still as could be while Juliann walked by, with a twisted stare grin. Guy was expecting the worst but was relieved as she shut the door behind her.

Guy quickly made friends with the locals in town. Besides working for the farmer he always lent a helping hand when needed. Everything from helping passengers off the train and into the hotel to doing odd jobs for the small shops in the area. Although at times, thoughts and tears would drive Guy insane. It wasn’t all that untypical for Guy to break down, and start roaming the fields with his lantern late at night, calling aimlessly for his wife and daughter. The local deputy became to know Guy well, as it was common for Guy to peer into the windows of the local houses late at night, calling for his Wife Lea and his little girl Smiles, spooking the residents of Raymore greatly. He was also known to walk the KCCS line many times past midnight, as if in a drunken stupor calling for his beloved girls to no avail.

In the fall of 1889, Guy traveled Southwest a few miles and met up and befriended a gentleman by the name of Alex Lopeman. These parts were known (and still to this day) as Amarugia. Alex had ordered some supplies in return for firewood for the farmer. Alex invited Guy to stay as he was having a dance that night. Guy met a man known as Ab, who was not from the Kingdom. For some unknown reason, Ab and Guy didn’t hook up well, and a fight ensued between the two. It’s been said that Ab had killed three men prior, but was able to escape custody claiming self-defense of some type. Scraped pretty badly, and broke up by the party, Guy left quickly with Ab yelling he’d find him someday.

For the next several years, Guy maintained his humble lifestyle by day, working what he could, and at times, running his haunting rituals by night. Surprisingly enough, Juliann took kind to Guy, but he never let her too close. At times, locals witnessed another silhouette trailing Guy late at night through the fields and railroad tracks. It was said that a woman’s voice could be heard pleading with Guy to come back and return home. Many suspected Juliann, but no one knew for sure.

The story doesn’t get better. Sometime in the winter of 1892, guy was selling firewood from the local tack. It was a cold and snowy afternoon. The sun was starting to set, and Guy was about ready to close shop. Guy was sliding the tack door shut, when he noticed an individual coming up the road through the snowy downfall. The man shouted at Guy as he saw he was closing shop. “Please, sir, just a bit of wood?” he yelled. As he got closer, the two men’s eyes met. There was no hesitation. Guy knew he was staring Ab straight in the face. Ab killed Guy with a 30 cent Barlow knife. Sliced right through his abdomen and it was said all his insides spilled right out.

No ones knows exactly what happened that evening in the Kingdom of Amarugia between Guy and Ab. Some say Guy made a pact with the devil in return for his beloved girls. Other say it was nothing more than two men who started out on the wrong foot. Whatever it was, it didn’t stop there. Juliann died shortly after learning of Guy’s fate. It was said she died of a soft broken heart.

To this day, it’s said that the spirits of Guy and Juliann still roam the area by nights.  Some have claimed to see the yellow glow from the lantern and silhouette of a man looking through their windows. Others have claimed to see the trailing pair behind the Ray-Pec school, later in the evening after football games.  Kids at the Raymore skate park have heard his haunting calls.  Even fishermen at the Amarugia Lake have said to witness a couple calling.

If you have witnessed such, please leave your experience here.

posted by phoxes in Autumn,Cass County,ghosts,Missouri,Raymore and have No Comments

CASS COUNTY CAN … an initiative against Child Abuse and Neglect

I attended the first group meeting this past Tuesday in response to my volunteer availability. I’m awful excited about this opportunity as it will let me use my skills towards a great initiative; something for which I’m very inexperienced in. I look forward to the challenge.

So far I donated my time in coming up with a web-site for the group. Cass County CAN is not necessarily the name of the final initiative. It’s just something I came up with when searching for a domain name for the web-site. The members of the Planning Committee are unaware at the moment of these efforts, but the Committee head will announce the web-site sometime next week once all the meeting minutes have been consolidated and published.

Anyone interested in volunteering or those that have questions about the initiative are invited to contact me.

posted by phoxes in Cass County,child abuse and neglect,Missouri and have No Comments

Memory Lane of West Line Missouri

Today was an interesting day. Dana and I decided to take a motorcycle trip through Western Cass County. On our way, we passed through West Line, a small village about 40 minutes due south of Kansas City.

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I’ve taken this little spur that connects between 2 Hwy and Route D many times. It’s a town of roughly 90 people and the main road is roughly less than 1 mile long. On your way towards the South end of town, Memory Lane is almost hidden on the West side of the road.

Memory Lane is a little nostalgic ‘mini-town’ created by Romaine Dennis. I was lucky enough to meet Dennis and ask him the questions that had been lingering with me ever since I first discovered the little town about two years ago. Dennis owns a classic car shop in Paola, Kansas, and in his spare time, he build his own little village. He didn’t have any exciting story as to why he built it. He says that, “It just keeps me busy.”

Memory Lane is quite the interesting town. It’s a mini version of a small town setting with just about as much as you’d expect to find in a 60’s – 70’s style town.

You will find the following buildings: West Line Courthouse, Church, School, Soda Shop, Diner,Filling Station, parlor, boutique and more. Even more interesting, most of the building have an interesting assortment of vintage artifacts inside.

Take for example the marble collection and bath powders and medicines.

Dennis has just about thought of it all. Even down to the ‘Burma Shave’ signs throughout Memory Lane.

If you are ever in the area (Louisburg, KS, Freeman or Cleveland Missouri, then I suggest you take a few minutes and give memory lane a check. If your lucky, you’ll find a couple classic cars sitting in the filling station. And say hi to Dennis for me. He spends his spare time up keeping the little town, and he’s more than happy to give you his little tour. You’ll know it’s Dennis as he’ll have his little golf cart close by to get him between the town buildings!

Here is a tidbit of history of the old West Line village. The town was originally called State Line when it was founded in 1854. Before that it was inhibited by the Poney Indians, one of the 12 tribes of the Osage Indians. The town really didn’t grow much until the KATY (later to be called the K.C.P. & G Railroad) railroad. In 1872 the towns name was changed to West Line. From 1890 and later, over 20 buisnesses were run. It had a general store, bank, barber, lumber yard, restaurant, dance school, several blacksmiths, a couple doctors and much more. In 1904 a chocolate factory was built by Mr. Holinger. From 1890 to the 1930’s, the West Line Baseball team was known as a great team, and often played the Kansas City Monarchs. The post office closed in 1972 because of a mishap. The people thought they were voting to keep the post office open, but because the way it was written, they actually voted to close it. Their address is now Cleveland, MO.

posted by phoxes in memory lane,Missouri,town,west line and have No Comments